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Old 04-19-2006, 09:52 PM   #29
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1972 25' Tradewind
North Vancouver , British Columbia
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I can't beleve forgot to mention my very bright green, 1978 VW Westfalia. I suppose since it was also my daily driver, I didn't really think of it so much as an RV. I used to take him (I named him Deiter) camping nearly every weekend to Kananaskis Country, which is just West of Calgary in the foothills of the Rockies. Here we are in K-Country with my best friend and his partner in their 1968 VW bus. Then a little later with their newer 1974 Westfalia and finally, me and Deiter parked at the Ghost River dam near Cochrane Alberta.
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Cameron & the Labradors, Kai & Samm
North Vancouver, BC
Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - Mame Dennis
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Old 04-19-2006, 10:02 PM   #30
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1962 22' Safari
2016 30' Classic
Somewhere , in the USA
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My Beginnings

My only camping experience as a kid was one or maybe two trips where my parents rented a pop-up trailer. Fun, but never repeated.

Lorrie's expeience is a little different. She started camping with her parents in a Holly trailer back in the 60's. They then moved up to a 1966 Airstream Overlander and eventually other Airstreams taking many trips all over the U.S. and Canada. She remembers being teased by other kids kid that she wasn't camping, because it was in an Airstream - "that's not camping".

Fast forward to adulthood. Lorrie and I took one trip (or was it two?) where we camped in a tent. Not so much fun and never again repeated.

After that and several more years of travel by hotel, motel, B&B, etc. we happened to have the opportunity to purchase Lorrie's parents original 1966 Overlander back from the 2nd owners. It needed some work, but our maiden voyage was the 2004 WBCCI International Rally in Lansing, Michigan followed by two weeks in Canada. We were hooked, but I didn't have the time to repair the items that trailer needed, so we eventually moved up to the current 1985 25' Sovereign, which needs much less attention (but there is always something to do in these older unit's isn't there?). Now, I miss the '66 and want a vintage unit to work on as my time permits (i.e. no deadlines) - in addition to a newer unit (the '85 serves this purpose at the moment) that is always ready for spur of the moment travel. I guess I want the best of both worlds!

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Old 04-19-2006, 11:19 PM   #31
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2005 30' Classic
Springdale , Arkansas
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My camping experience had been limited a tent set up for a week during deer seasons when I was in my 20's. Always stayed in cabins or motels during my adult life. As a kid we tent camped on fishing trips, sometimes leaving the tent in the middle of the night and sleeping in the car because of a high volume of mosquitos feasting. While growing up I had an affection for the AS's because I thought they looked cool.

When I retired last summer, we didn't know if we wanted a TT, 5th wheel, or a motor home. I reasoned that if we bought a used TT and didn't like it, we could sell it and try a 5th wheel. If we didn't like that we could move on up to a MH. My wife had never camped in her life outside of a motel and was very skeptical that she could survive in an RV. I talked her into buying and trying an older AS for the initial RV believing that if it didn't work for us, we could resell it for what we paid for it.

We found a 25 foot 1976 Caravanner in Rochester, NY and bought it sight unseen, just from the description that it was a very nice unit. We went to MN to pick "Twinkie" up and at 4:30 in the PM, started back to Arkansas. We made it as far as Iowa before getting sleepy about midnight. Since it was so late we pulled into a very nice (and big) rest stop. Not a great idea. It was July and the weather was in the 90's and VERY humid. I told her we could sleep for 3-4 hours in the AS and leave before daylight. Between the big trucks running and the lack of AC making the AS resemble a sauna, we didn't get much sleep, but enough to recharge and leave at 4AM. My only thought was that "This is it. She'll never spend a night in the AS after this ordeal.", but we made it home and in the excitement of owning our own RV, she actually exhibited some enthusiasm.

To make a long story short, we fell in love with the AS and knew we didn't want anything else. After traveling in the 25 footer for a couple of months, we decided we needed more room and purchased a Classic 30, selling the Caravanner 7 weeks later. We are totally happy with the Classic and do not contemplate ever owning anything other than an AS. By the way, my fears were unfounded as she enjoys the AS life as much as I do.

Sid and Becky
2005 Classic 30 "Twinkie II"
Hensley Arrow
2008 Bighorn 4X4 Dodge 2500 Cummins
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:15 AM   #32
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1951 21' Flying Cloud
1960 24' Tradewind
West Coast , BC
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As kids (large family) touring and singing our way around North America we used various travel trailers. Originally Scotty's, then Scamper's but my parents always spoke of an Airstream and whenever we'd see one it was a big event and topic of much discussion. When camped if there were any in the campground my parents would eventually make it past to have a look and chat with the owners if possible. My brother and I have always remained campers. When my wife and I began camping shortly after getting married we started with an ancient tent trailer with canvas that was more like a patchwork quilt than something to stop the elements from soaking us, a common occurence. Then the big move up to a Coleman pop up truck camper and then for the past 28 years many SOB trailers made up of an assortment of Travelaire's, Scamper's, Skipper's, a 17' Boler and then a Silver Streak but since '82 we were always on the look out for just the right vintage Airstream which finally (to my wife's relief) happened two years ago. We looked at a LOT of Airstreams over the years but we (read that I) had never found one that suited our need for vintage (we have almost always towed with our vintage car) and with reasonable weight suitable for a car with 6,000 tow rating. Were my father alive today he would likely be in his glory "borrowing" the trailer when we aren't using it. I suspect a lot of the little things I've yet to complete in the restoration would be done and probably a lot better than when I do get around to them - oh well. Barry
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Old 04-20-2006, 10:19 PM   #33
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Always an Airstreamer....

My mom was pregnant for me when I had my first camping experience!
That was in my mom and dad's first Airstream. A 1964, uh I think Overlander...
I have never camped in anything but an Airstream. My brother and I bought our neighbor's 1963 Bambi when I was 16 and he was 15. We restored it and used that until 10 years ago.
I then bought my first Argosy. A 1976 Argosy 24. Fixed it up and ended up keeping it for about 8 years.
I got the itch two years ago and bought a 1977 Argosy 22. I wanted to do another restoration and I wanted a smaller trailer. Halfway through the restoration I was hounded to sell it. I told the guy that if he could find me a Minuet he could have the Argosy 22. He found one in southern Minnesota.
Now I am happy with what I have and will probably not buy another one!
It looks like another generation of Pattersons will start out in Airstreams/Argosys!
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:43 AM   #34
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1996 30' Excella
Brighton , Michigan
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We have ony had Airstreams. I did camp as a kid in Boy Scouts but my family never camped. In the mid 70's I was able to use a Camper mounted on a Jeep pickup truck. The truck was owned by American Motors where I worked and public relations group had a trade out with the camper manufacturer in which AMC supplied trucks for them to display there campers, they supplied two new campers each year to AMC and employees were allowed to sign up and use the campers for vacation.
I bought my first trailer in 1980, it was a 1965 Airstream Safari 22' which needed a lot of work. We fixed all the problems and redecorated the interor and used the trailer until 1988. Sold the trailer to a friend who used it until 1998, when he bought a Airstream MH. The last I heard this trailer is now in Illinois.
The next Airstream was a 31' 1981 Excella II. We purchased this the day before we sold the 65 trailer. This was a great trailer when the kids were growing up as it was a rear bath with center twin beds and factory installed bunk beds. The kids were able to bring along friends and we coluld put them all to bed and cloes the door between the front lounge area and the bedroom wher the kids were sleeping.
By 96 the kids were gone away to college and it was just the two of us so we decided a new wide body with rear queen was the way to go. We ordered our new trailer in Febuary 96 and took delivery in April 96 of a 30' wide body Excella 1000. this trailer has served us well and has just over 60,000 miles (yes I keep detailed mileage of every day it moves and where we stop) and has been in 41 states.
This trailer is now for sale as we are now retired and spend the winter months in Texas and need more storage space and more room. We are looking at a used 34' slide Airstream or maybe a fith wheel. I would prefer the Airstream for many reasons. Have had a lot of great times in our Airstreams and our kids both have the travel bug. I don't expect it will be too long before one of them has an Airstream.

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Old 04-21-2006, 09:32 AM   #35
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1999 30' Excella 1000
Northern California , and Oregon
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A 1966 VW squareback, a 1978 Me Too 15' travel trailer, a 1996 Four Wheel pop-up truck camper, and currently a 1978 Airstream 31'. I wonder why I didn't think of Airstreams a long time ago, since they have been a family tradition. I guess I thought I couldn't afford one. Now I'm a third generation Airstreamer. I planned on having a shorter RV, so I could have more choices of camping spots... The 1978 Airstream came from some WBCCI folks. I was at an Airstream unit function, and the members found out that I was looking for an Airstream. My Airstream has always been a WBCCI member!
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:35 AM   #36
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2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
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Wow, our first ever was a '66 VW bus....not the camper but the regular microbus that I pulled the middle seat out of. We slept on the floor of the bus.

We graduated to a 20x10 two room Coleman tent, then a '79 Coleman Ligoner Pop up Camper. Next came a bigger Coleman Pop Up, an '80 Ticonderoga that we installed a portipotti into.

1982 brought the Worlds Fair in Knoxville Tn. and Patty wanted to go there if we had a self contained trailer. We ended up buying an '82 21' Hi-Lo. We kept that trailer for 14 years. After getting tired of converting the table and sofa to beds, we decided to buy a trailer with a real bedroom.

In 1996 we bought a 30' Thor built Electra travel trailer. After 4 years we realized that we bought something that was not a quality trailer. In the spring of 2001 we saw an Airstream at the RV show and in May took delivery of a 2001 27' Safari, which was the biggest Airstream I could tow based on the capacity of my tow vehicle.

Two years later I buy a bigger tow vehicle. Patty who decided to go to twin beds in the Safari now decides that sleeping against the wall is not her cup of tea. After a day of for and against decision making at a dealer rally, we decide to splurge and buy a '04 30' Classic slide out, which brings us to today.

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'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:21 AM   #37
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1999 25' Safari
Wailuku , Hawaii
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Started out as a backpacker and never imagined I'd get into 'vehicle' camping! Hiked the Tetons, Wind Rivers, Sierras, Smokies and most of Colorado's ranges. Also did a lot of sleeping on the sand along the west coast during surf safaries with buddies in the late 70's. After some years spent camping out on my sailboat on the weekends, the idea of a land-based camper started to make more sense, especially with a young daughter to keep comfortable and my job which required me to travel nearly 100 miles each way to work! First 'RV' was a Dodge mini-van, a Grand Caravan, that I set up for sleeping in mostly on windsurf trips. From that I went to a small camper - a seven-foot long Pastime that I had in a half-ton truck. It had no bathroom, water that you had to pump by hand and a whopping two and a half gallon grey water holding 'tank' that I made myself. But it was out of the wind and we could go anywhere. From there I moved up to a larger truck - a 3/4 ton diesel, and traded up to a used S&S 10.5 foot camper. After it developed a major roof leak during our third season with it and I rebuilt nearly the entire ceiling, my love affair with SOB construction soured. I started to get interested in trailers when I thought about getting my truck bed space back - three people, two dogs, bicycles, surfing and windsurfing gear and more take up a lot of space - not much fun on the roof of a camper! Then I found out how most trailers were built - almost the same as truck campers but with more room and interiors like a bad Las Vegas hotel room. No thanks! The logical progression was to Airstreams - the problem was the cost. I searched like a madman until I found the perfect used AS - a 32' Excella 1000! I kept Bella the Excella for 3 wonderful seasons and lots of weekend and extended weekend trips. I finally worked up the nerve to sell her due to the length issue - the Excella was simply too much for weekending. I came close to buying a 21 foot-Bigfoot but in spite of their wonderful construction, found them to be souless and toy-like after an AS. Life worked out better than I could have ever imagined when the buyer of our Excella had a 25' Safari they wanted to move up from. I now have a 'new' used Safari which I've just finished going through from belly pan to roof, replacing rivets, cleaning dirt-encrusted screens, replacing brakes, tires and bearings and more. This has been really fun - the honeymoon period where doing the work has gotten me into knowing and loving the new trailer. This weekend is our maiden voyage (though we've hung out in the Safari nearly every evening). Even though I'm nearly broke now, There's nothing like an Airstream!
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:46 PM   #38
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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An 8'x10' heavy-duty canvas tent from Sears with all the poles & guywires and a family of 5. Can't get much more humble than that!

Then to a Walrus backpacking tent and a "tent Mahal" a huge 12'x20' three-room party tent for group outings. Regardless always a bunch of fun!

Vintage Airstream Club - Past President 2007/2008
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RMVAC | WBCCI DenCO Unit | BIRDY - our 1956 Safari | 1964 Serro Scotty
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:18 PM   #39
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1995 30' Limited
Ashland , Missouri
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Shari, hope your old Sears canvas tent gave you as many good memories as our old turquoise one gave us. She was 12 X 12, had a high center pole, and also had a large 10 X 12 canopy with a scalloped edge that always reminded me of tents from days of troubadours and joustings. Ours had finally been patched and stitched together so many times that we put her out for the annual May trash haul one year, almost in tears to see her go. Along came a family, "picking," and by golly, they picked up "Old Blue" and off she went for another whole new family adventure. Those were the days, but I love our Airstream now ~G
1995 Airstream Classic Limited 30' ~ Gypsy
1978 Argosy Minuet, 6.0~Minnie/GPZWGN
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Old 04-21-2006, 05:10 PM   #40
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1956 22' Safari
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Conifer/Evergreen , Colorado
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Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia
Shari, hope your old Sears canvas tent gave you as many good memories as our old turquoise one gave us.
Yep, lots of memories. Ours was green & gold...very attractive! We even camped in it in the rain...leaks and all. Then we would hang it in the garage from the rafters for a week to dry when we got home. Not sure what ever happened to it...I doubt my folks still have it though.

Mr. InsideOut & I still have the Walrus & the Tent Mahal...just in case we want to rough it some time or take friends along and just use the trailer for the kitchen & potty. I've done that for a "girls campout" before...we can sleep 10 comfortably and have all the convienences of home with the trailer!

The main thing is, whether it's in a cheapo tent or a well appointed Airstream, go camping with your kids, you'll never regret it and they'll never forget it!

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Old 04-21-2006, 06:21 PM   #41
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I went camping a few times as a child to Camp Low and Camp Daisy. Usually stayed in a huge tent set up on a deck.
In the early 70's my bf and I went camping nearly every weekend. Usually sleeping on a mattress in the back of his VW bus. We did take one extensive 3 week trip out west and we "open" air camped.
When i met my husband we camped a few times in his vw bus. Husband was not much of a camper. :[
Later we camped with husband's family every spring most of the time sleeping in a pop up -- which was pretty good.
the last time we went with the family we had bought a small pup tent. Urgh we hated it. (as we had grown old and prone to soreness) We bought our first Airstream shortly after that and used it a year when we decided we needed a bigger better rig. So here we are living six months a year in it.
Tent camping is allright when you are young...gotta love the airstream.

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One is by thirst and the other is drowning.
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